Illinois Pizzeria fights neon sign ordinance

According to a report from, in Chicago, Ill., “Parmesans Wood Stone Pizza general manager Jeff Schaeffer said if he’s not allowed to display a neon “open” sign, there soon may be none.”

In the article, Schaeffer said, “If I don’t give people the impression I’m open, they’ll think I’m closed, and eventually I’ll have to be.”

Parmesans currently has two neon signs, but the Village ordinance prohibits neon signs in storefront windows and on exterior walls, the report said.

The business is owned by Michael Papandrea, Schaeffer’s father, and opened its doors in 2004. When he installed the signs in January, Schaeffer said it brought roughly an additional $4,000 per month, which nearly covers the mortgage on his building.

“I’ve been here through three springs and three deads of winter,” Papandrea said in the article. “I can clearly see the increase.”

Last year, village board members discussed the sign issue. The conclusion was to allow “open” signs as long as they weren’t neon.

Mayor Jim Holland said the signs drew more attention than simply telling people the stores are open.

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